Posted: 10:15 am Monday, April 14th, 2014
By Ken Sugiura
Georgia Tech claimed its biggest series win of the season by far this weekend, taking two of three games from Florida State, ranked No. 1 in three polls, at Russ Chandler Stadium. A look at the numbers:
1. Tech’s RPI ranking jumped from 57 at the start of last week (and 83 the week before after getting swept by Pittsburgh) to 33.
2. The Jackets scored 10 of their 21 runs against FSU in the first inning of the three games, allowing them to take leads of 5-0, 1-0 and 4-0.
3. Prior to this weekend, Florida State had won 12 consecutive regular-season series, including 9 in a row in the ACC.
4. The Jackets have now held their opponent to five or fewer runs in 17 consecutive games, the longest such streak in coach Danny Hall’s 21 seasons at Tech. (Run production has declined considerably since the 2011 season, when NCAA rules were changed to limit the potency of bats.)
5. Tech’s 12-4 win on Saturday was the most lopsided loss for Florida State since the Jackets’ 10-0 win in Tallahassee, Fla., last March. Prior to Saturday, the Seminoles hadn’t given up 12 runs in a game since the 2012 season.
6. Tech starter Devin Stanton has pitched 12 consecutive scoreless innings, six against Duke and six against Florida State. Combined, starters Josh Heddinger, Stanton and Matthew Grimes pitched 15 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned), striking out 15 and walking four, and holding Florida State to a .233 batting average. The Seminoles had come into the series hitting .286.
7. Freshman shortstop Connor Justus was 4-for-9 with 3 RBI and 2 runs in the three games, including a critical 2 RBI single with two strikes in the first inning of Friday’s game. Justus also extended his errorless streak to 20 games. Justus hit his first two home runs of the season and his career earlier last week in wins over Georgia Southern and Savannah State.
8. Tech is 6-3 in its past nine games against teams ranked No. 1 in one or more polls. The Jackets are also 6-3 against ranked teams and 17-11 against unranked teams. Tech could have a chance to play another No. 1 when it faces Virginia (No. 1 in one poll) in Charlottesville, Va., May 9-11.
Tech plays Georgia Tuesday at Russ Chandler Stadium at 7:30 p.m. (CSS). The Bulldogs won the first game 1-0 in walk-off fashion March 4 in Athens. The game hinged when catcher Mitch Earnest’s throw to second on a base-stealing attempt flew into center field. Tech argued for batter’s interference. Sean McLaughlin took third and scored on the next pitch as Brandon Stephens hit a single up the middle for the game winner.
Georgia has won three consecutive series and is No. 46 in RPI. A win at Russ Chandler for Georgia would be its fourth in a row over Tech, something the Bulldogs haven’t done since 2001-02, and give them the season series for the second consecutive year.